Ontario Shores Launches Exciting New Project with Ontario Human Rights Commission

October 16, 2015
Today, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission unveiled a new partnership to further develop human rights capacity at the specialty mental health centre.

Ontario Shores and the OHRC met last year to look at an opportunity to partner and support both organizations’ mission and values. The Project Charter signed today sets the framework for work that will happen over a three year term.

This is the OHRC’s first voluntary human rights organizational change project with a healthcare organization in the Province. It will help to identify and eliminate any policies and practices related to employment or provision of services that may not be in line with the Ontario Human Rights Code. It will also set the stage for new organizational practices and services to be created using a human rights lens.

Ontario Shores first reached out to the OHRC to commend their Minds that Matter report that detailed the discrimination faced by people living with a mental health disability and/or an addiction.

“In the Minds that Matter report, the OHRC had identified an interest in connecting and working with a leading mental health centre,” says Karim Mamdani, President and CEO of Ontario Shores. “We started a dialogue to see how we could advance human rights here in our own organization. We are extremely excited to champion this work in hopes it will benefit other hospitals and healthcare organizations going forward.”

“When we considered working with a mental health centre, we were looking for a leader committed to embedding human rights in all of its operations,” said OHRC Interim Chief Commissioner Ruth Goba. “Ontario Shores has made the commitment to be this leader. The benefits will be felt by the people who work there, those who interact with the centre, and most importantly, the people who are receiving vital mental health services.”

The project will focus on three key areas: services, training and employment. It will be supported by teams and advisory groups representing various occupations, – both clinical and non-clinical, union and management – as well as patients and their families.

“This is a wonderful collaborative partnership that has been enthusiastically embraced by our Ontario Shores team,” says Barb Mildon, Vice-President, Practice, Human Resources, Research and Chief Nursing Executive. “The enthusiasm and interest around this project has been tremendous and I have no doubt this work will enhance our organization and better serve patients, and current and future staff.”

About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system. For more information about Ontario Shores, please visit www.ontarioshores.ca.

About the Ontario Human Rights Commission:
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) develops public policy and actively promotes a culture of human rights in Ontario. It conducts public inquiries, intervenes in proceedings at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and in other tribunals and courts, initiates its own applications (formerly called complaints), uses public education, research and analysis to prevent discrimination, and brings people and communities together to help resolve issues of tension and conflict. For more information, visit www.ohrc.on.ca.


For more information about the event, please contact:

Chris Bovie
Community Relations Officer Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences 905.430.4055 ext. 6574
Cell: 905.995.2443 boviec@ontarioshores.ca

Afroze Edwards
Issues and Media Relations Officer Ontario Human Rights
416 314 4528
afroze.edwards@ohrc.on.ca